Hi Reddit, I'm Joel Thornton, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, here to
talk about how tiny particles from ship exhaust can make more lightning.
Ask Me Anything!
I am Joel Thornton, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University
of Washington. My research focuses on microscopic nano-scale particles
in the atmosphere, where they come from, and what they do to air
quality, weather, and climate. These particles come in many shapes and
sizes, from a variety of sources like wildfires, sea spray, desert dust,
vegetation, and our own pollution from power plants, diesel trucks,
cargo ships and so on. These particles can be toxic to human health,
with the smallest more numerous ones getting into our lungs, but they
are also good at reflecting sunlight to space, and they are the seeds on
which every cloud droplet or snowflake forms so they have an out-sized
influence on weather and climate. For example, my colleagues and I
lightning is twice as frequent above busy shipping lanes, likely because
of the particles emitted in the ships exhaust! Ask me anything about
atmospheric particles and how the nano-scale can effect the global
scale. Ask me anything! I’ll be back at 12 pm Et to answer your
questions, ask me anything! The AGU AMA series is conducted by the
Sharing Science (sharingscience.org) program. Sharing Science: By
scientists, for everyone. More at sharingscience.agu.org.